Vintage Magazine Cover: Newsweek July 6, 1970

Newsweek 1970While leafing through my magazine collection, this issue caught my eye. In case you’re wondering, the world was going to Hell in 1970.

1.) The magazine was a little late to the party. I would’ve thought the 1968 assassinations, the 1968 Democratic Convention Riots, the 1969 Altamont Free Concert violence, the murders of Black Party Panther members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, the murders of Sharon Tate and Charles LaBianca, and the opening of Long John Silver’s restaurants might’ve triggered a declaration before July 6, 1970.

2.) I’m only kidding about Long John Silver restaurants. I’ve never eaten there. They are probably better than Captain D’s.

3.) The Spirit of ’70 became the Spirit of ’71, Spirit of ’72, Spirit of ’73 and so on. We had a lot of spirit in the ’70s. We ate a lot in the ’80s, which could explain America’s obesity problem.

4.) If they thought America was in crisis in 1970, wonder what they thought about Watergate, Ford’s pardon, inflation and the entire Carter presidency.

Vintage Ad: Le Car 1977

Le Car AdAnyone remember Le Car? No, not the electronica band from Detroit. It was a real car, also know as the Renault 5. American Motors helped introduce it to the USA. It’s primary competition was the Volkswagon Rabbit.

A few notes:

1) Everything in the ’70s had to be labeled, and “Le Car” was no different. The car in this ad also had the familiar stripes that seemed to be a popular design motif of the era. Though not every “Le Car” had the writing on the side.

2) A Washington police department used these cars for patrol. That might work if it is primarily a pedestrian population. Can you imagine Le Car tangling with an SUV? Don’t.

3) No doubt, the gas efficiency made this car worthwhile. I’d drive Le Car today, but maybe not in orange.

Book Review: Write It When I’m Gone by Thomas M. Defrank

Write It When Im GoneWritten by former Newsweek correspondent Thomas M. Defrank, Write It When I’m Gone offers vignettes into the unvarnished thoughts of President Gerald R. Ford. The first few chapters provide a snapshot of Ford’s political career, as observed first-hand by Defrank. After that, Defrank details Ford’s thought about other political figures past and present.

Considering how Ford tends to be overlooked, it can be a great way to ease into studying this former president. Defrank drew a detailed depiction of the man’s personality and thought process behind his decisions. Is the book dramatic and spell-binding? Not really. Certainly not like Vietnam or the Watergate era. A man who has never cheated on his wife? I can only imagine others might think: how boring. But Defrank humanizes Ford and his colleagues to such an extent that I found the final chapters quietly moving. All too often, politicians are treated like objects to be poked and prodded by the public. Defrank seems to want readers to see Ford as a man with foibles, health problems and occasional grumpiness.

I bought this book a while ago, and I’m glad I finally got the chance to read it. I won’t be trading it in anytime soon.

Welcome

Welcome!

From my experience with blogs, the first post is the hardest. It’s time to clear that hurdle.

This blog will serve as a touchstone for my projects, as well as a reminder to myself to stay focused on my work.

There have been so many changes lately, and people only know me through social media or work I’ve done for other publications. This site will feature my creative work, which will include films, voiceover work and writing. I am sure there will also be a few surprises along the way.

I won’t offer comments for my blog entries. In my experience, it takes too long to weed out spammers. But you can always reach me through the contact page of this site.

Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”

With that, my first post is finished.

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